Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Convenient Environmentalist

I am not an environmentalist. As anyone will attest, I'm against most environmental regulations. I say extract the resources and get me my cheaper (insert natural resource here). At the same time, as Forro has told me, I'm somewhat of an environmentalist. I have CFL light bulbs in all my light fixtures, I keep my natural gas bill low by keeping the house colder in the winter and keep my electric bill lower-ish by trying to keep it warmer in the summer. Of course, when I'm given a choice between comfort and cost savings, I run into a bit of a pickle. It's all based on an internal cost-benefit analysis. If I can't sleep, I'm turning the A/C up and I really don't care if that kills one more polar bear. Another example is my car, a 2006 Infiniti G35. It's got 293 horses under the hood and there are times when I use every last one of them. Of course, with gas at European prices now ($3.73 across the way), I'm trying to not be that guy who jumps off the line every time because it causes me a lot of pain to pay $60 a tank for gas. At the same time, I'm not selling for a Prius because it's not worth it. A conversion to dual fuel (natural gas/gasoline) is far more likely and at $4500 bucks after tax credits, not a terrible option. I would be willing to pay $.69 per gallon equivalent for natural gas and I would drive like a maniac again.
Really, for the green lobby, these traders going nuts and deciding that every time someone in Nigeria sneezes that they need to buy oil is the best thing that could possibly happen. It's causing people to buy smaller cars and ditch their big cars and move back to the cars of yore. Who here remembers the BMW 318i? That 1.8 liter engine was the base for over a decade until the early 00s when suddenly we all decided that power was everything (and let's face it, it kind of is). Suddenly your smallest choice is a 3.0 liter engine that isn't nearly as efficient as the older 3-series engines. We'll see how this goes, although it's a double edged sword as I hope Congress allows us to pillage the heck out of Utah for all the shale refineries can eat. That's where I'm not an environmentalist - I won't sacrifice for the planet.

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